General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: What did You Learn?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 9:30am
Tami L. Johnson

General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is now over. However, the spiritual messages heard and felt will linger into the next 6 months until Conference comes again.  For many members, applying what they learned in Conference will build upon their testimonies and strengthen their everyday lives—drawing them closer to their Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Twice a year, General Conference takes place in the 21,000 seat conference center in Salt Lake City.  Reaching a global audience estimated to be in the millions—it touches many hearts.  The October 2016 proceedings were interpreted live into more than 80 languages and are available in 94 languages total via television, radio, satellite, and internet.

Church members come to gather and receive guidance and encouragement from Church leaders about gospel living based on the doctrines of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

            When President Monson, the president of the Church, enters the conference center, there is a great feeling of reverence and respect for the beloved prophet.  He is loved by so many.  His words to the members of the Church were, “Essential to the Plan is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without his atoning sacrifice, all would be lost.  We need to work, learn, search, pray, repent, improve, know God’s laws and live them. Let us live the truth.”

So, what did some of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints learn from this recent General Conference? I took the time to ask a few members their thoughts and impressions—those messages which impacted them and caused them to ponder and learn.

            Arrienne Winzeler, of Harrisville, shared, “Conference weekend is such a special time to hear the messages from our prophet and apostles.  It is amazing how we can all have our own personal questions and spiritual needs filled by the inspired word of our leaders.  There were so many times I felt like the words I heard were specifically meant for me and my family.  The theme of this conference, for me, came from Russell M. Nelson’s talk when he said, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances in our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”  I know that when the Savior is MY focus in life, I can feel that joy daily.” 

Winzeler also tells us that, “I look forward to learning and improving more as I review the words I heard and apply them in my life.”

“I loved the talk President Uchtdorf gave reminding us what a blessing and a JOY the gospel is to the world and to each of us individually,” Stephanie Cook, of South Weber tells us.  He said, “Does it not fill our hearts and minds with wonder and awe to contemplate the great plan of Happiness our Heavenly Father has prepared for us?”  Living in a time where opposition and tragedies are all around us it is easy to forget the good.  Henry B. Eyring promised us that as ‘we count our many blessing, every doubt will fly;’   To me, it seemed this whole conference was a reminder to first love God and then love our neighbor.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency in the Church, lovingly said, “Our Beloved Savior wants to rescue you--open your heart to him…contemplate the goodness and grace of God.”

Across the miles, in Austin, Texas, Todd Humphreys gained this insight from General Conference   through Elder M. Russell Ballard’s, talk. Humphreys tells us, “This was a talk about where will you turn if you end up leaving the Church?  Where will you turn for structure? Where will you turn for people who have the same values as you?  For a community to raise your children?  I thought it was really very powerful!  And at the same time-- almost directly confrontational to those people who think they can do without the Church.”

Each individual has a different perspective and feeling about their experiences with General Conference, but the hope is that all will come away feeling loved, fed by the Spirit, and willing to commit to doing good in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.